Tuesday, August 31, 2010

human guinea pig

Well it didn't last, my knee went bonkers on me again. Pretty much right after writing the last post. Go figure. Jinx.

It was pretty swollen and nasty for the wedding trip, despite consistent ice, NSAIDs, and compression. Not too painful, but not exactly uber comfy either.

Unfortunately it also started clicking, hitching and catching when I walk, so I acquiesced and made an appt to see my super knee doc. The appointment was today.

And a funny thing happened.

After having waited a few minutes in the examination room, the Dr Stein entered. Stopped. Looked at me oddly. And then asked me my name to double check his charts.

He then reentered the room and said "Same knee? Same problem?" Both of which I responded the affirmative.

He then sat next to me and with some kind of astonishment looked me right in the eye, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've got a cure."

It was odd how shocked he seemed. Feeling hopeful I said "What, do you have some kind of epoxy now?"

Still seeming rather blown away he replied "Yes"

Turns out just two months ago this new thing was put on the market - it is organic mushed up bone goo called DeNovo Cartilage Graft that they caulk into the gaping chunk missing from the articular cartilage of a joint, such as my knee. It takes on my own DNA and solidifies to become my bone. In effect totally fixing me.

His shock was because it is so new that I'll be the second person he personally uses it on. The first guy's surgery was just scheduled yesterday for Oct 4th. So my timing was just crazy. He told me that my condition is fairly rare and totally perfect for this procedure. So go me and my luck!

There are a few downsides. One - I'm on crutches six weeks. Two - real surgery not arthroscopic (I was totally knocked out for my last scope so what's the big diff?). Three - it is new, so long term effects aren't solid.

Which ironically isn't a new thing for me. Back in 2004 when I had my hernia repair the doc used Alloderm, a human tissue patch that melded into my own fascia. Also brand spanking new and at the time still part of studies. And I continue to rock the stuff.

So this will be the second set of dead person matter being put inside me. The benefits totally outweigh the risks, me having a completely fixed knee! No more risk of degenerative bone that will continue to crumble until I end up with my joint being replaced.

Can I say how glad I am to be in NYC? The docs here are on their game! Go modern science!!

(Date set for October 18th! Woot!)

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